Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Federal Health Insurance? No Thanks...

In President Bush's State of the Union Address, he pushed for federal involvement in providing Americans access to health insurance. Some believe this is the only way to help people, especially the elderly or those who need expensive treatments. Others believe it will lead to lower standards and higher costs, which defeats the purpose of any such legislation.

Me? I'm just wondering when it became the federal government's responsibility to provide medical insurance to anyone. Regardless of whether it's means-tested or just throwing money at people in the hopes they'll invest it in medical insurance, it doesn't matter to me. Any federal involvement in health care, even health insurance, will hurt us more than it will heal.

The current system is broken in spots. Rising drug costs, outrageous malpractice suits and insurance costs, HMOs, the list goes on and on of things that need to be fixed. Yet, our system, broken as it may be, is still one of the best in the world and I believe it's because we allow for competition. In economics, whenever you have two or more people providing the same service for different entities, innovation thrives.

That innovation does not thrive in a government-run health insurance system because government doesn't understand the laws of supply and demand. Whenever they need more money, they can order more be printed or they can fudge budget numbers to make things work out. And unless there's another government out there to compete with the one we have right now, there's no reason for the fed to change. They're the only game in town and we're all playing.

Not only is allowing the government any power to establish or administer health insurance a HUGE power grab, it's an exercise in stupidity. Think about it. The federal government can't even balance a budget honestly. What makes you think they'll be able to complete a health insurance claim?

Mr. President, I know your heart's in the right place, but I have to question your judgment. Giving everyone affordable health insurance only puts the burden on those who produce without giving the non-producers a reason to change their ways. Compassion should come not out of force, but out of love or desire to do good by those who need good the most. The fed doesn't know compassion; all it knows is bureaucracy.

So, Mr. President, thank you for your offer, but I'll pass. I'd prefer to be the one to control my health insurance decisions. Nothing personal. I just think I can do the job better than somebody in Washington, DC, who doesn't even know me.

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